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Shropshire pharmacist and Rose Marie Parr honoured on Queen's birthday

Community pharmacist Nigel Dugmore and Scotland’s former chief pharmacist Rose Marie Parr have been recognised for their services to healthcare in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

Professor Parr received an Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to pharmacy and pharmacy education.

Meanwhile, Mr Dugmore, superintendent pharmacist at Donnington Pharmacy in Telford, Shropshire, was given a British Empire Medal (BEM) for services to pharmacy and the local community during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Announcing the latest honours last Friday (June 11), Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the awards “allow us to pay tribute to all those who have gone above and beyond in their service to this country”.

The list includes “everyday heroes”, Mr Johnson said, adding: “We should take heart from the stories of those receiving honours today and be inspired by their courage and kindness. May they be a reminder of all that we can achieve when we come together as a society.”

Professor Parr “an inspiration to young female pharmacists”

Professor Parr tweeted that she was “delighted and honoured” to be included in the honours, adding: “For me it is about recognition of the pharmacy profession and the pharmaceutical care and kindness that community and hospital pharmacy teams deliver to the people in the communities we serve.”

Scotland’s current interim chief pharmaceutical officer Alison Strath said that Professor Parr’s honour was “incredibly well-deserved recognition”, meanwhile England’s chief pharmaceutical officer Keith Ridge congratulated her, commenting: “Occasionally, something good happens.”

Professor Parr left her role as Scotland’s chief pharmacist earlier this year to take up a position on the General Pharmaceutical Council’s (GPhC) governing body. Previously she had served as the chair of the Scottish Pharmacy Board of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society before its regulatory powers were transferred to the GPhC in 2010.

During her time as Scotland’s chief pharmacist, she launched 'Achieving Excellence in Pharmaceutical Care', a strategy document as part of which she hoped to encourage people to use pharmacy as a “first port of call”.

At the end of April, the Pharmacists’ Defence Association’s Dr Cheryl Smyth described Professor Parr as “an inspiration to young female pharmacists aspiring to further their careers”.

Community pharmacy “hasn't gone unnoticed”

Mr Dugmore – a pharmacist of 35 years – has worked at Donnington Pharmacy since October 2013. On March 1, he opened a pharmacy-led COVID-19 vaccination centre in nearby Turreff Hall – which is currently giving around 2,500 jabs a week.

Mr Dugmore told C+D he was “pleased and proud” to be honoured. “It was good to be recognised, because pharmacy is a bit like the Cinderella of the NHS.”

During the pandemic, Donnington Pharmacy remained open seven days a week, delivering medicines to around 3,000 patients, he said. As Mr Dugmore did not know who had nominated him for the honour, he had expressed “surprise and shock” when he found out the news.

“It’s great to be recognised and that your efforts haven’t gone unnoticed,” Mr Dugmore added. “I feel guilty in a way because I get an award, but it’s a team effort. So it’s recognition of the team as well. We’ve got fantastic staff; everybody’s gone above and beyond what was expected.”

Also recognised in the honours list were Mike Thompson, former chief executive of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry, “for services to medicine supply resilience and development” and Richard Turner, research and development director at AstraZeneca, “for services to pharmaceutical manufacture and the COVID-19 response”.

Do you think you could win a C+D Award? Get inspiration by reading about each of last year’s C+D Award winners, runners-up and shortlisted entries, or click below to learn about this year’s categories and to enter.

How has your pharmacy coped during the COVID-19 pandemic?

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